look for the type of ground that is currently in your heart. Are we standing solid in the Word ... or has it been sown on poor ground?
by Andrew Wommack
Read Luke 8:4-15
Luke 8:11, "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God."
This parable illustrates the importance of the Word of God. God's Word contains total power, but it has to be planted in our hearts and allowed to germinate before it releases that power.
The seed is God's Word, and the types of ground are the four major categories of men's hearts. The Word was the same in each situation, but there were different results in each case because of the condition of men's hearts - not because of the Word. The Word doesn't work for everyone because not everyone will allow the Word to work. The variable in this parable is the condition of these hearts. God's Word is always the same. It has the same potential in every heart.
Good ground doesn't just happen; it must be cultivated. This is the reason why only one out of four persons in Jesus' parable brought forth fruit. It takes a lot of time, effort, and diligence to be a fruitful Christian. The Christian life is not like a hundred-yard dash but rather a 26.2 mile marathon. It's quicker and easier to raise weeds than it is to raise tomatoes or corn.
In this whole parable, it was the Word that produced the fruit. The ground simply gave it a place to grow. If we will simply put God's Word in our hearts, protect it, and give it priority in our lives, the Word will produce fruit of itself. Satan has deceived many people into thinking that they don't have the talents or abilities to be fruitful Christians, but they are not the ones who bring forth fruit; it's God's Word. When we protect the Word sown in our hearts, it will do the rest.
Luke 8:12, "Those by the wayside are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved."
The first type of person Jesus describes is someone who doesn't understand God's Word (Mt. 13:19). Before God's Word can penetrate your heart, you have to understand (not comprehend) what it's saying. If the Word isn't understood, then it will be like seed scattered on top of hard-packed ground (the wayside). The birds will eat the seed and there will be no fruit.
Mark 4:15 and Luke 8:12, make it clear that these birds represent Satan, and Mark says the devil comes immediately to steal away the Word. Satan did not have direct access to the Word in any of the other heart-types which Jesus described. Satan cannot steal the Word from us if we will hide it in our hearts (Ps. 119:11). This first type of person simply heard the Word but didn't receive it. He never applied it to his life, so he lost it.
Notice that Luke links belief and salvation with the Word being sown in our hearts in the same way as Romans 10:14-17. If there is no Word, there cannot be any belief or salvation (I Pet. 1:23). We must preach the Word - not just morality or social issues.
Luke's use of the word "saved" could include, but is not necessarily limited to, forgiveness of sins. Salvation includes much more than forgiveness of sins. This verse could describe a person who didn't receive the Word and, therefore, was eternally damned. It could also be describing a Christian who simply doesn't receive the Word in a certain area of his life and therefore doesn't experience the victory that Jesus provided for him. Are you experiencing His victory in your life?
Read Mark 4:13-20
Mark 4:16, "And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness"
The second type of person Jesus describes is one who does receive the Word, even with great joy, but his commitment to the Word is shallow. Just as a plant must establish a strong root system to sustain its growth, so we must become rooted and grounded in God's Word. Too much attention on visible growth will cause us to become impatient and not take the time to become firmly established in the truths of God's Word. This will always result in fruitlessness.
A seed planted in shallow earth will germinate and grow faster than a seed planted in deep soil. The seed in deep soil will put all of its energy towards the roots first while the seed in shallow soil has no choice but to put its effort into the growth of the plant above the ground. The plant in shallow soil will look like it is far ahead of the other seed for a while, but that will not last. It soon withers and dies, while the seed with roots grows and brings forth fruit.
Notice that afflictions, persecutions, and tribulations are instruments of the devil and are used to stop God's Word from bearing fruit in our lives. They are not good things that God brings our way to improve us. They are instruments of Satan.
These things are designed to take our attention off of God's Word, thereby stopping the Word from taking root in us. It's like the runner who spends all of his time in the grandstands arguing with the hecklers over the way he's running the race. He may win an argument, but he will lose the race. We must not let anything distract us from meditating on God's Word day and night, for only then will we make our way prosperous and have good success (Josh. 1:8).
By consistently putting God's Word in first place in every area of your life, you will let that Word become so rooted in you that nothing can get it out.
Luke 8:14, "And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection."
This third type of ground is characteristic of a large part of the Body of Christ today. These are people who have received God's Word, committed themselves to it to the degree that they are able to remain faithful in persecution, but because of being occupied with the affairs of this life, the Word sown in their heart is choked and no fruit is produced. Just as weeds in a garden will steal all of the nutrients and starve the plant, so the pleasures of this life, if we allow them to dominate our thinking, will stop the fruit that the Word would have produced.
Throughout history, the Church has always grown in size and strength during persecution. This is because during persecution we get our priorities straight. We realize our life is in Jesus (Jn. 14:6) and not in things (Lk. 12:15), and we focus all of our attention on the Lord. However, prosperity has been far more damaging to the Body of Christ for the exact reason stated here in this verse.
God wants to bless His children with things (Ps. 35:27; Mt. 6:33), but a preoccupation with these things will choke God's Word and make it unfruitful. If we would follow God's formula for prosperity found in Matthew 6:19-34, we would have the Word bringing forth fruit and we'd enjoy the physical blessings of this life, too.
Notice Jesus said that no fruit was brought to perfection. This type of person will exhibit some fruit, but it will always be small and far short of what it should be. Do you feel frustrated because you are just getting by and are not really experiencing the abundant life that Jesus came to give? (Jn. 10:10) Examine your lifestyle and see if the cares of this life, deceitfulness of riches, or pleasures of this life could be choking God's Word.
Luke 8:15, "But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience."
As has already been noted, good ground doesn’t just happen; it has to be cultivated. This is the reason only one out of four people in Jesus’ parable brought forth fruit. It takes a lot of effort and diligence to be a fruitful Christian. As also stated in this verse, it takes a lot of patience. The Christian life is not like a hundred yard dash but rather a twenty-six mile marathon. It takes time to become a fruitful Christian. It’s quicker and easier to raise weeds than it is to raise tomatoes or corn.
In this whole parable, it was the Word that produced fruit. The ground just gave it a place to grow. If we will simply put God’s Word in our hearts, protect it, and give it priority in our lives, the Word will produce fruit of itself. Satan has deceived many of us into thinking that we don’t have the talents or abilities to be fruitful Christians, but we are not the ones who bring forth fruit; it’s God’s Word. When we protect the Word sown in our hearts, it will do the rest.
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